Umm … Are you in the Navy too?

Theatrical Release Date: 05/18/2012
Director: Peter Berg
Cast: Taylor Kitsch, Alexander Skarsgård, Rihanna, Brooklyn Decker, Tadanobu Asano, Hamish Linklater, Liam Neeson, John Tui
Rated: PG-13 for intense sequences of violence, action and destruction, and for language.
Runtime: 2 hours, 11 minutes


Stop playing Call of Duty on the ship!

Screenwriting: Miss

Acting: Miss

Direction: Miss

Proof the public at large doesn’t care about any of those three fundamental filmmaking elements:


Based on the board game many of us grew up cheating at as kids, the film takes the basic premise of naval warfare and applies it to one of the many alien invasion plots descending on theaters this summer. The script was so generic it could have been applied to any game even remotely associated with the military but seeing as Pearl Harbor and the islands of Hawaii make for a great vacation spot, it’s understandable why the filmmakers didn’t utilize the Coast Guard and set this in Alaska. I mean, what’s the point of making a movie if you can’t figure out a way to put Brooklyn Decker in a bikini top and cut-off jean shorts? (Though I admit to understanding that motivation.)

In any case, laying out the plot is as simple as this: Humans make contact with another race. That was a bad idea. The aliens land in the ocean. They fight with the Navy. Explosions, screaming, and Rihanna are featured. Cue “Star Wars: Episode IV” ceremonial ending, wait for the audience to turn their brains cell phones back on.

There is an unsurprising boatload of flaws permeating through all 131 minutes of director Peter Berg’s not so subtle Navy recruitment video. Key ones include the aliens having key tactical and technological advantages which they do not use because although they’re here to bring the ruckus, they don’t fire unless fired upon (book smart, not street smart); letting a freak accident upon the aliens’ arrival handicap them in such as way as to give us humans a fighting chance; relying on one alien soldier to ensure the security of a key encampment; thinking a mothballed Navy ship can be brought back to service all while the sun rises twice in one morning; sticking with the notion that it’s okay to wait 30-45 minutes before we even get to some human vs. alien action (all that early character development sure was worth it).

I could go on and on but what’s the point? You’re either excited to see this because of the promise of explosions, screaming, and Rihanna or you’re rational enough to realize this can wait for free cable. I’ll admit to expecting (and hoping) for a far bigger catastrophe but despite being almost tolerable if you ignore all reason, “Battleship” gets a 2.5 out of 5 and is little more than proof that Taylor Kitsch is having a bad year.

First he starred in “John Carter“, a beloved sci-fi literary franchise turned into a muddled mess of a movie. Now he’s in this, a beloved board game turned into a muddled mess of a movie. I’m happy he’s getting paid because living with the knowledge that you’re front and center for both of these movies deserves a whole lot of cash … cash the public is better off keeping in their own pocket.

2.5 out of 5